The real fun starts now!
Now that the College Football Playoff selection committee has published its first rankings of the 2017 season, you can expect complete chaos to ensue. It's as though the football gods decided to match all of the contenders with teams that can beat them, just when we think we are starting to figure the season out. We're hearing doomsday scenarios of three Power 5 conferences getting left out of the four-team playoff. Fans are already booking travel plans.
Here are this week's OUTRAGEOUS* predictions.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 10
Iowa shocks Ohio State
I have no stats or science to back this up. No logic. No "this is how it can happen." All I have is a gut feeling and a history of craziness going down in Iowa City. It's going to be cold and rainy. The Hawkeye fans will be responsibly hydrated. The Buckeyes are coming off of a physically and emotionally challenging win. Iowa has nothing to lose. The conditions are perfect for an upset. Look for Akrum Wadley, Josey Jewell and the Hawkeye offensive line to play out of their minds en route to an Iowa win.
NC State eliminates Clemson from contention
Not only do the Tigers have a loss, it's a conference loss. They can't afford another, and they're facing a team in NC State coming off an embarrassing loss to Notre Dame. I like the Wolfpack defensive line to neutralize Clemson's rushing attack, making the Tigers one-dimensional on offense. From there, it's a shootout between Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant and NC State's Ryan Finley. I'll take Finley and his skill players every day of the week in that matchup. NC State gets the win, takes command of the ACC Atlantic Division and eliminates Clemson from College Football Playoff contention.
Virginia Tech beats Miami by 20
There's a reason the Hurricanes are the College Football Playoff committee's lowest-ranked unbeaten Power 5 team — they haven't beaten anyone. Their best win was against Toledo earlier in the season, in a game that featured almost zero defense. That won't be the case this weekend when the Hokies come to town. If there's one thing Virginia Tech has been known for since Bud Foster has been the defensive coordinator in Blacksburg, it's sound, attacking defense. Miami hasn't seen anything close to that this season. Between that and a more-than-capable offensive attack led by Josh Jackson, look for Virginia Tech to come away with a relatively easy win.
Texas hands TCU its second straight loss
Matt Campbell and Iowa State drew up the blueprint for stopping the Horned Frogs' offense. Don't think for one second that Texas head coach Tom Herman doesn't have a stack of notes from watching that game film. The Longhorns have the athletes, but it will be their coach and his scheme that get the upset win for Texas in this one.
Mike Riley is out of a job by Monday
Florida is already shopping for a head coach, and one of the guys they are interested in is UCF's Scott Frost. Nebraska wants Frost as well, but needs a vacancy like Florida has if the Cornhuskers want to make any promises to Frost or any other potential candidate. After Northwestern hands Nebraska its fifth loss of the season on Saturday, it'll make new athletic director Bill Moos' already easy decision that much easier. The Mike Riley era at Nebraska is about to come to an end.
*Remember, "outrageous" can be defined as “wildly exaggerated or improbable,” and “very bold, unusual, and startling.” These are "outrageous" predictions and should be treated as such.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He also covers the Big Ten for Black Heart Gold Pants, Iowa's SB Nation blog. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.